Digital Rights Weekly Update 5 - 11 January


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Social media censoring pro-Palestine voices, says Lebanese activist, claiming Israeli influence (English)

Anadolu Agency

Lebanese activist Mohamad Safa accused social media platforms of censoring pro-Palestine content at the behest of the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs. Safa, who is chairman of the board of Patriotic Vision (PVA), a non-governmental organization operating under the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and its representative to the world body, told Anadolu that those supporting Palestine against Israeli attacks are accused of being "antisemitic" and subjected to pressure through threats. 




'Free speech absolutist' Elon Musk explains his decision to ban Hamas' X account: 'This was a tough call' (English) 

Business Insider 

Elon Musk said that banning a Hamas-linked account on his platform X was a difficult decision. "This was a tough call," Musk wrote on Monday after a user had asked him why an account linked to the Palestinian militant group had been suspended. The account, which had the handle "qassam2024," was tied to Hamas' military wing. Business Insider was not able to independently verify when the account had been suspended. "While many government leaders, including in the USA, do call for killing people, we have a 'UN exemption rule'; if a government is recognized by the UN, we will not suspend their accounts," Musk said.







A SMALL GROUP of volunteers from Israel’s tech sector is working tirelessly to remove content it says doesn’t belong on platforms like Facebook and TikTok, tapping personal connections at those and other Big Tech companies to have posts deleted outside official channels, the project’s founder told The Intercept. The project’s moniker, “Iron Truth,” echoes the Israeli military’s vaunted Iron Dome rocket interception system. The brainchild of Dani Kaganovitch, a Tel Aviv-based software engineer at Google, Iron Truth claims its tech industry back channels have led to the removal of roughly 1,000 posts tagged by its members as false, antisemitic, or “pro-terrorist” across platforms such as X, YouTube, and TikTok.





Another War: Israel’s Fake Accounts to Support Its Narrative (English) 


“The media is the most powerful thing in the world. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” Malcolm X Since Israel launched its war on Gaza in response to the Hamas attack, known as Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, on October 7, another war has been waged on the internet with Israel flooding social networking sites with misleading information and fake news. These propaganda campaigns, led by fake pro-Israel accounts, challenge the Palestinian narrative and attack the Palestinian resistance. The fake campaigns have been accompanied by a fierce media war waged by Israel, using a policy of misinformation and lies to deceive global public opinion. In more than one case, Western media organizations and presidents have repeated Israeli claims without verifying them. Israel’s claim that Hamas killed 40 Israeli children and beheaded them is perhaps the most prominent example of recent Israeli media misinformation.



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